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under5s - singing sack ! 

When you are thinking of singing songs with the children...
  • Have you ever wondered what to sing today?
  • How to introduce a new song to the children you care for?
  • How to encourage the children to suggest a song to sing, that is not the same one as yesterday, and last week?
  • help... I can't think of anything? 
The answer lies in a 'singing sack!'

It is easy to make, and everyone can make one, all you need is a draw string bag, we made ours from a pillow case which we decorated with the children's handprints, and a collection of inspiring objects.

Then next time it is music time, or you get together for a song, you can pull out your singing sack and let it lead the music session. With the children gathered round (we have had great fun with just two children, so the group size does not matter), choose somebody who is sitting nicely to delve into the sack, have a feel around and select an object. You then have to think of a song relating to that object, and off you go.

In larger settings, it may help to have a song list - a list of songs relating to objects, so that if different practitioners are carrying out the activity, they have inspiration, and then to change and vary the toys occasionally.
What do you put in a 'singing sack?'

Anything that inspires a song. 

If you put a selection of small world objects, pictures, or real objects that you feel relate to lots of different songs, the child can feel the object, perhaps guess what they think it is, or you can then talk about what it is, where it is found, etc. and then think of a relevant song to sing... your idea or even the children's...

Let me give you some ideas... but the list is endless....
A toy bus 'The wheels on the bus'
A fresh pea pod 'How many peas in a pea pod pressed.'
A doll Rock a bye Baby
A stethoscope 'Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.'
A frying pan '10 fat sausages'
A happy face 'If you are happy and you know it'
A rabbit 'Little Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose'
A teddy 'When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears'
'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear'
'If you go down to the woods today...'
A scarecrow 'I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow...'
A spider 'Little Miss Muffet'
'There was an old lady who swallowed a fly'

You can even change the sack to relate to your theme - if you are doing a spring theme, add spring animals - colours then add a rainbow, or little boy blue, for weather you can add a rain hat, or a piece of drain pipe, (for Incy Wincy spider to climb). I am sure you can think of more... just by looking around your home or your setting, you are bound to find objects that inspire a song, and if you don't perhaps the children can...

What area of the Foundation Stage does it cover?

This covers (in my opinion):

  • Personal and Social Development - being motivated to learn, maintain concentration, behaving appropriately (QCA pg 32), working with other to take turns (QCA PG 36).
  • Communication, Language and literacy - Interacting with others (QCA PG 48), exploring new vocabulary (QCA PG 52)speaking clearly and confidently (QCA PG 54)
  • Mathematical Development - Joining in number rhymes (QCA PG 74)
  • Knowledge and Understanding - exploring objects, and find out more about them (QCA PG 86/88)
  • Creative Development - Build up song repertoire (QCA PG 122), respond to significant experiences (QCA PG 126)
Have fun creating your 'singing sack' and sharing it with the children.

Helen Renouf
Accredited Network Childminder


QCA - Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage published 2000 - copies are available from 01787 884444 Ref: QCA/00/587

under5s - singing sack ! 
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